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This is the go-to guide for confused South Africans and all those seeking an informed, balanced and up-to-date analysis of South African politics and society in the Ramaphosa era.
When Nelson Mandela emerged from decades in jail to preach reconciliation, South Africans appeared to many as a people reborn as the Rainbow Nation. Yet, a quarter of a century later, the country sank into bitter recriminations and rampant corruption under Jacob Zuma. Why did this happen, and how was hope betrayed? President Cyril Ramaphosa, hoping to heal these wounds, was re-elected in May 2019 with the ANC hoping to claw back support lost to the opposition in the Zuma era. This book analyses this election, shedding light on voters’ choices.
With chapters on all the major issues at stake – from education to land redistribution – Understanding South Africa offers insights into Africa’s largest and most diversified economy, closely tied to its neighbours’ fortunes.
Democracy Works asks how we can learn to nurture, deepen and consolidate democracy in Africa. By analyzing transitions within and beyond the continent, the authors identify a 'democratic playbook' robust enough to withstand threats to free and fair elections. However, substantive democracy demands more than just regular polls. It is fundamentally about the inner workings of institutions, the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, and leadership in government and civil society. It is also about values and the welfare and well-being of its citizens, and demands local leadership with a plan for the country beyond simply winning the popular vote.
This volume addresses the political, economic and extreme demographic challenges that Africa faces. It is intended as a resource for members of civil society and as a guide for all who seek to enjoy the political and development benefits of democracy in the world's poorest continent. Finally, it is for donors and external actors who have to face critical decisions--especially after ill-fated electoral interventions such as Kenya 2017--about the future of observer missions and aid promoting democracy and good governance.
Throughout the past 50 years, the courts have been a battleground for contesting political forces as more and more conflicts that were once fought in Parliament or in streets, or through strikes and media campaigns, find their way to the judiciary.
Certainly, the legal system was used by both the apartheid state and its opponents. But it is in the post-apartheid era, and in particular under the rule of President Jacob Zuma, that we have witnessed a dramatic increase in ‘lawfare’: the migration of politics to the courts.
The authors show through a series of case studies how just about every aspect of political life ends up in court: the arms deal, the demise of the Scorpions, the Cabinet reshuffle, the expulsion of the EFF from Parliament, the nuclear procurement process, the Cape Town mayor…
The death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on 2 April this year unleashed a hailstorm of opinion. On one side, Winnie's legacy was under construction by the media and public in the shadow of her sanctified ex-husband, casting Winnie as history's loser.
Msimang - who in the last few years has reflected extensively on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - stood on the side of a younger generation, particularly of black women, who sought to reclaim Ma Winnie's identity as an extraordinary woman and fierce political activist. Examining that early impulse, Msimang has written a succinct, razor-sharp book. It is a primer for young feminists, popular culture enthusiasts and those interested in the politics of memory, reconciliation and justice, and a book that is as much about a woman as it is about the country she left behind.
The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela is an astute examination of one of South Africa's most controversial political figures. It charts the rise and fall - and rise, again - of a woman who not only battled the apartheid regime, but the patriarchal character of the society that moulded her. In telling Ma Winnie's story, Sisonke Msimang demonstrates the vital link between reclaiming the lives of one complex woman, and activism aimed at restoring the dignity of all women.
Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.
Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.
She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.
The Land Is Ours tells the story of South Africa’s first black lawyers, who operated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In an age of aggressive colonial expansion, land dispossession and forced labour, these men believed in a constitutional system that respected individual rights and freedoms, and they used the law as an instrument against injustice.
The book follows the lives, ideas and careers of Henry Sylvester Williams, Alfred Mangena, Richard Msimang, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Ngcubu Poswayo and George Montsioa, who were all members of the ANC. It analyses the legal cases they took on, explores how they reconciled the law with the political upheavals of the day, and considers how they sustained their fidelity to the law when legal victories were undermined by politics.
The Land Is Ours shows that these lawyers developed the concept of a Bill of Rights, which is now an international norm. The book is particularly relevant in light of current calls to scrap the Constitution and its protections of individual rights: it clearly demonstrates that, from the beginning, the struggle for freedom was based on the idea of the rule of law.
This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about
in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives?
Scholars agree that a direct correlation can be made between poor governance and the emergence of extremist movements. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres puts it: ‘I am convinced that the creation of open, equitable, inclusive and pluralist societies, based on the full respect of human rights and with economic opportunities for all, represents the most tangible and meaningful alternative to violent extremism.’ This book challenges both the efficacy and wisdom of purely militarised responses to extremist movements typified by the Global War on Terror, as well as the cursory replication of international counter-terrorism frameworks promulgated by the United Nations and European Union in Africa.
Emphasis is given to the importance of understanding local history, culture and regional geopolitics, among a variety of context-specific factors to truly understand and thereby effectively address the emergence and spread of extremisms in Africa. As such, it draws on contributions from a range of thematic and regional experts, including security-sector specialists, conflict analysts, journalists, international relations and governance specialists, political scientists, social anthropologists, psychologists and theologians, among others. A diverse range of extremist movements on the continent are examined, from radicalised religious groups to race-based organisations.
These case studies provide in-depth insight into answering why and how these movements came to be, while thematic chapters address issues pertinent to addressing them, such as public perceptions of extremism, methods of recruitment and radicalization among marginalised communities, supporting survivors of extremism and former combatants, strategic approaches to counter-terrorism and the role of governance, among others.
This is an introductory anthology and the first of its kind on this topic to be authored and published in the African continent.
At the opening of South Africa's first democratic parliament in 1994, newly elected president Nelson Mandela issued a clarion call to an unlikely group: white Afrikaans women, who during apartheid occupied the ambivalent position of being both oppressor and oppressed. He conjured the memory of poet Ingrid Jonker as `both an Afrikaner and an African' who `instructs that our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child'. More than two decades later, the question is: how have white Afrikaans-speaking women responded to the liberating possibilities of constitutional democracy?
With Afrikaner nationalism in disrepair, and official apartheid in demise, have they re-imagined themselves in opposition to colonial ideas of race, gender, sexuality and class?
Sitting Pretty explores this postapartheid identity through the concepts of ordentlikheid, as an ethnic form of respectability, and the volksmoeder, or mother of the nation, as enduring icon. Issues of intersectionality, space, emotion and masculinity are also investigated.
Two Weeks In November is the thrilling, surreal, unbelievable and often very funny true story of four would-be enemies – a high- ranking politician, an exiled human rights lawyer, a dangerous spy and a low-key white businessman turned political fixer – who team up to help unseat one of the world's longest serving dictators, Robert Mugabe.
What begins as an improbable adventure destined for failure, marked by a mixture of bravery, strategic cunning and bumbling naiveté, soon turns into the most sophisticated political-military operation in African history. By virtue of their being together, the unlikely team of misfit rivals is suddenly in position to spin what might have been seen as an illegal coup into a mass popular uprising that the world – and millions of Zimbabweans – will enthusiastically support.
Impeccably researched, deftly written, and told in the style of a political thriller, Two Weeks In November is Ocean’s 11 meets Game of Thrones: a real-world life or death chess match for the future of a country where the political endgame is never a forgone conclusion.
John Kane-Berman is uniquely qualified to look back over the enormous political and social changes that have taken place in his lifetime in this fractious country. In his career as student leader, Rhodes Scholar, newspaperman, independent columnist, speech maker, commentator, and Chief Executive, for thirty years, of the South African Institute of Race Relations, Kane-Berman has been at the coal face of political change in South Africa.
The breadth and depth of ideas and events covered here are striking: the disintegration of apartheid, the chaos of the ‘people’s war’ and its contribution to the broader societal breakdown we see today, the liberal slide-away, the authoritarian ANC with its racial ideology and revolutionary goals, to mention only a few. Kane-Berman’s willingness to confront received wisdom is thoroughly refreshing, and he is forthright about the threats to freedom, democracy, and growth in contemporary South Africa, many of which he identified even before the ANC came to power.
Writing, debate, and reasoned argument have been Kane-Berman’s stock in trade and his clarity of vision and personal insight have created a memoir of rare candour and absorbing interest.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van wêreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
Jonathan Jansen is die voormalige Rektor van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, met 'n formidabele reputasie vir transformasie en 'n diepgewortelde verbintenis tot versoening in gemeenskappe wat met die erfenis van apartheid saamleef. In hierdie boek, Jansen se persoonlikste en mees intieme boek tot op hede, daag Suid-Afrika se geliefde professor die stereotipes en stigma uit wat so maklik op Kaapse Vlakte-ma's van toepassing gemaak word as luidrugtig, wellustig en sonder tande – en bied hy dié deernisvolle verhaal aan as 'n lofsang vir ma's oral wat op moeilike plekke gesinne moet grootmaak en gemeenskappe moet bou.
As jong man het Jansen gewonder hoe ma's dit regkry om kinders onder moeilike omstandighede groot te maak – en toe besef die antwoord is reg voor hom in die vorm van Sarah Jansen, sy eie ma. Deur haar vroeë lewe in Montagu en die gevolge van apartheid se gedwonge verskuiwings na te speur, werp Jansen lig op hoe sterk vroue nie slegs daarin geslaag het om gesinne bymekaar te hou nie, maar hulle kinders ook met integriteit groot te maak.
Met sy kenmerkende fynsinnigheid, humor en eerlikheid, volg Jansen sy ma se lewensverhaal as 'n jong verpleegster en ma van vyf kinders, en wys hy hoe dié ma's hulle verlede verwerk het, hulle huise ingerig het, sin gemaak het van die politiek, die liefde bestuur en kernwaardes gekommunikeer het – hoe hulle hulle lewens gelei het. Om sy eie herinneringe te balanseer, het Jansen hom op sy suster, Naomi, beroep om haar eie insigte en herinneringe te deel, en daardeur spesiale waarde tot hierdie roerende memoir toe te voeg.
Jonathan Jansen is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, with a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. In this, Jansen’s most personal and intimate book to date, South Africa’s beloved professor contemplates the stereotypes and stigma so readily applied to Cape Flats mothers as bawdy, lusty and gap-toothed – and offers this endearing antidote as a praise song to mothers everywhere who raise families and build communities in difficult places.
As a young man, Jansen questioned how mothers managed to raise children in trying circumstances – and then realised that the answer was right in front of him in the form of Sarah Jansen, his own mother. Tracing her early life in Montagu and the consequences of apartheid’s forced removals, Jansen unpacks how strong women managed to not only keep families together, but raise them with integrity.
With his trademark delicacy, humour and frankness, Jansen follows his mother’s life story as a young nurse and mother to five children, and shows how mothers dealt with their pasts, organised their homes, made sense of politics, managed affection, communicated core values – how they led their lives. As a balance to his own recollections, Jansen has called on his sister, Naomi, to offer her own insights and memories, adding special value to this touching personal memoir.
South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 heralded the end of more than forty years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity started the process of bringing together this deeply divided society principally through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
However, interest in – and responsibility for - the reconciliation project first embodied through the TRC appears to have diminished over more than two decades of democracy. The narrow mandate of the Commission itself has been retrospectively criticised, and at face value it would seem that deep divisions persist: the chasm between rich and poor gapes wider than ever before; the public is polarised over questions of restitution and memorialisation; and incidents of racialised violence and hate speech continue.
This edited volume uses a decade of public opinion survey data to answer these key questions about the extent of progress in South African reconciliation. Leading social scientists analyse longitudinal data derived from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Survey (SARB) – conducted annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003 as well as interrogate and reach critical conclusions on the state of reconciliation, including in the areas of economic transformation, race relations and social contact, political participation, national identity formation and transitional justice. Their findings both confirm and disrupt theory on reconciliation and social change, and point to critical new directions in thinking and policy implementation.
Ek blaai vinnig deur hierdie bladsye. Ouma se politieke spore is besaai met duwweltjies. ’n Deel van my wil-wil die swart dagboek toemaak. ’n Ander deel skop vas: Hoe eerlik is jy in jou poging om oupa Hendrik te verstaan?
Ná jare van versoeningswerk tussen eertydse vyande in Ierland keer Wilhelm Verwoerd terug na Suid-Afrika. Hy wil vrede maak met sy eie familie en sy geskiedenis. In die Verwoerd-strandhuis, Blaas ’n Bietjie, waar hy sit en skryf, hang ’n gesinsfoto waarop sy oupa, HF Verwoerd, hom as baba teer vashou. Hoe versoen hy dié menslike oupa met die gehate onderdrukker wat in die stories van sy swart bure en kennisse na vore kom, mense wat as kinders in die strate gedans het toe sy oupa vermoor is?
In sy soektog na begrip kom Wilhelm op ouma Betsie Verwoerd se private dagboeke af en voer hy soms ongemaklike gesprekke met mense wat sy van as vloekwoord onthou. So ontvou ’n geskakeerde blik op wat dit beteken om vandag met integriteit in Suid-Afrika te leef.
“Diepsinnig … Wilhelm Verwoerd ondersoek die veelkantigheid van verantwoording in families in hierdie belangrike en menslike memoir.” – Martie Retief Meiring
The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy.
Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions.
At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.
In Losing The Plot, well-known scholar and writer Leon de Kock offers a lively and wide-ranging analysis of postapartheid South African writing which, he contends, has morphed into a far more flexible and multifaceted entity than its predecessor. If postapartheid literature's founding moment was the 'transition' to democracy, writing over the ensuing years has viewed the Mandelan project with increasing doubt. Instead, authors from all quarters are seen to be reporting, in different ways and from divergent points of view, on what is perceived to be a pathological public sphere in which the plot- the mapping and making of social betterment - appears to have been lost.
The compulsion to forensically detect the actual causes of such loss of direction has resulted in the prominence of creative nonfiction. A significant adjunct in the rise of this is the new media, which sets up a 'wounded' space within which a 'cult of commiseration' compulsively and repeatedly plays out the facts of the day on people's screens; this, De Kock argues, is reproduced in much postapartheid writing.
And, although fictional forms persist in genres such as crime fiction, with their tendency to overplot, more serious fiction underplots, yielding to the imprint of real conditions to determine the narrative construction.
Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?
Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students with whom Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out. But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.
Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
Allister Sparks joined his first newspaper at age 17 and was pitched headlong into the vortex of South Africa’s stormy politics. The Sword And The Pen is the story of how as a journalist he observed, chronicled and participated in his country’s unfolding drama for more than 66 years, covering events from the premiership of DF Malan to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, witnessing at close range the rise and fall of apartheid and the rise and crisis of the new South Africa.
In trenchant prose, Sparks has written a remarkable account of both a life lived to its full as well as the surrounding narrative of South Africa from the birth of apartheid, the rise of political opposition, the dawn of democracy, right through to the crisis we are experiencing today.
Some thirty-five years after its original publication, Year of Fire, Year of Ash still stands as one of the leading accounts of the 1976-77 Soweto Revolt, one of the most significant acts of resistance in the history of the anti-apartheid movement.
Authored by a South African activist and scholar who was intimately involved in the movement, the book provides an unparalleled insight into the origins and events of the uprising, from its antecedents in the early 1970s to its role in galvanizing the global struggle against apartheid. Crucially, the book overturned much of the conventional logic around the uprising, by showing that it was not simply a student protest, but a revolt by the wider black working class.
As South Africa experiences a new wave of popular revolt, and as new forms of black consciousness come to the fore in movements around the world, Hirson's book provides a timely reminder of the continued significance of the Soweto revolt to struggles against oppression today.
Ferial Haffajee is highly respected as one of South Africa's thought leaders and commentators. She effectively uses her media platform to raise and discuss issues pertinent to the state of the nation. In What If There Were No Whites In South Africa?, Haffajee examines our history and our present in the light of a provocative question that yields some thought-provoking analysis for the country.
From roundtable discussions with influential as well as ordinary South Africans, to research, personal thoughts and powerful anecdotes, Haffajee takes the reader through the rocky terrain of race relations in our country and grapples towards a possible way forward in terms of what it means to be South African in 2015.
This account of the decade that preceded the Soweto uprising of June 1976 not only transforms our understanding of this crucial flashpoint of South Africa’s history, but also creates a longer, more evolutionary, historical narrative for the overthrow of apartheid.
It argues that the suppression of opposition movements after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 did not lead to a period of ‘quiescence’, as many writers maintain, in which activists retreated into private acts of dissent and the opposition went underground, followed, a decade later, by a sudden eruption of the townships, first in Soweto, and then across the country. Rather, these years were marked by experiments in resistance and attempts to develop new forms of politics which prepared the ground for the uprising in Soweto, introducing new modes of organisation, new models of protest, and new ideas of resistance, identity, and political ideology to a generation of activists.
This book begins by showing how students at South Africa’s segregated white and black universities began to re-organise themselves as a political force; how new ideas about race reinvigorated political thought; and how debates around confrontation shaped the development of new forms of protest. The author then builds upon this narrative to show how protest began to move off university campuses and onto the streets: through the independent actions of workers in Durban, and then through attempts by students to link their struggles with a more public political agenda.
These actions made protest public once again, and helped establish the patterns of popular action and state response that would come to shape the events in Soweto on 16 June 1976.
Combining firsthand accounts from activists with the research of scholars and reflections from artists, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton. It's a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power the world over - to deadly effect.
With contributions from #BlackLivesMatter cofounder Patrisse Cullors, Ferguson activist and Law Professor Justin Hansford, Director of New York-based Communities United for Police Reform Joo-Hyun Kang, poet Martin Espada, and journalist Anjali Kamat, as well as articles from leading scholars Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Robin D. G. Kelley, Naomi Murakawa, Vijay Prashad, and more, Policing the Planet describes ongoing struggles from New York to Baltimore to Los Angeles, London, San Juan, San Salvador, and beyond.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, Nelson Mandela’s preferred successor, faces new problems and new choices since he won his own electoral mandate in May 2019.
In the next five years, South Africa will be changed radically by the climate crisis, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, economic stagnation and political unrest among some of its southern African neighbours, and the rising African influence of Russia and China while the West is distracted by the insurgent populism of US President Donald Trump and Brexit.
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